Whirlpool fridge not turning on at the right temperature

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Old 07-31-15, 02:35 AM
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Whirlpool fridge not turning on at the right temperature

My 20 cu ft Whirlpool upright fridge (Model: ET20GKXDW00) works very well most of the time, turns off and on as needed. But sometimes it doesn't turn on until past the internal temperature where I'd expect it to go on. When that happens I can often get it to turn on (after a while) by turning the settings switch to a "colder" setting.

It also seems that sometimes I have to use a higher (colder) setting than I should, given the temperature of the room(a semi-basement type room where 80F is reached only during heat waves).

Today, I had the temperature setting switch turned off (so as not to trip a circuit breaker...too many other appliances on at the time, it's an old house!) and when I turned it back on it wouldn't go on. Usually after it's been off a while, it'll go on at the lowest setting. This time even turning the switch to the highest (coldest) setting didn't turn it on. So I waited and watch the temperature go up to 44 degrees inside...waited some more and finally after about 30 minutes it turned on and now is back to working properly for the moment.

So two problems that are probably related, the fridge not always turning on when it should. How can I troubleshoot this, and is there a thermostat control that would be a good starting point for a check?

Thanks for any suggestions...

John
 
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Old 07-31-15, 12:32 PM
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More than likely it's a thermostat problem.

The unit may have been in defrost when you turned it on and that could cause a startup delay until it finished its cycle.

After you turn the thermostat to a lower temperature do you start hearing a lot of clicking from the compressor under the fridge ? That would signify a starting problem with the compressor.

It doesn't sound like that is your problem. Your fridge uses a basic mechanical thermostat.
That stat is OEM part 4387562. The link below is just once place that sells them. You could search using the part number and find many other retailers including your local appliance parts retailer.

Whirlpool Refrigerator Temperature Control Thermostat 4387562

It should be fairly easy to get to and replace. If you wanted to check it first you could remove the housing and check the two terminals for voltage. When the fridge is in cooling mode you should read 0v across the thermostat.
 
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Old 07-31-15, 04:44 PM
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Pete, thanks for the quick reply and especially the part number. My that's an expensive thermostat! If I need to replace it I'll be checking for a generic version.

I've never seen anything to indicate this fridge has a defrosting cycle. Would there be a tag somewhere inside that mentions this, or a defrosting control?

You mentioned checking the thermostat terminals for voltage when in "cooling mode". I assume that means when the compressor is running...and do you know where I can find a chart that lists the triggering voltages at different settings. I'd like to see if it's a sensor problem or something in the mechanism itself. Perhaps the sensor is replaceable as a separate unit.

John
 
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Old 07-31-15, 06:40 PM
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No... if the compressor is running then the thermostat switch is physically closed. You need to check the switch when the compressor is not running. You need to make sure it's the stat causing the problem.

The stat is a self contained unit. It has a single pole switch which is either open or closed.
I've seen the stat around $50. Amazon should be close.

In the following link.... # 4 is the defrost timer and # 13 is the thermostat.
So they are right next to each other. The defrost timer has a slot in it where you can test it with a screwdriver to see if it goes into defrost. It's like advancing a time clock.

Diagram & Parts List for Model ET20GKXDW00 Whirlpool-Sears Parts Direct
 
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Old 08-01-15, 04:25 AM
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I see the thermostat on Amazon for abut $56 so that's better. And now that I know I have a defrost cycle, it would make sense that the long delay in starting up could be caused by that. How long is a defrost cycle, and do you know how often it comes on in a fridge like this one?
 
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